Gun dealerships across the U.S. have reported a surge in firearms sales amid the coronavirus outbreak and the government’s sweeping response to try and limit the disease’s spread.
The Associated Press reported that lines at stores in Los Angeles have stretched down the block and one store in Idaho had to put limits on its sales due to the demand.
Greg Richardson, the manager of Classic Arms of Memphis, one of the Mid-South’s most popular gun shops, told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Monday that he is not surprised about the demand. Whenever there is a national crisis and there’s a possibility that the government may act on limiting gun sales, he pointed out.
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“It has just not stopped since the beginning of last week,” Richardson said on Monday. He noticed a significant uptick in sales late last week and the trend continued at pace. He said some people are buying their normal few boxes for target practice, but others are stockpiling with thousands of rounds.
He said many of his customers are concerned about supply and demand. There’s a worry that the government could employ some kind of emergency measure that directly affects gun sales.
Richardson’s popular store made headlines last week after it offered a roll of toilet paper with each purchase. The marketing ploy was intended to offer some levity amid growing concerns in the country about the virus that originated in Wuhan, China and is blamed for 7,113 deaths.
He said customers have cleared out local supermarkets and pointed out that toilet paper was one of the most in-demand products.
“It makes sense with what you guys are doing, because what better way to defend your roll of toilet paper than with a firearm?” Starnes joked.
Donald Trump Jr., a Second Amendment advocate, took to Twitter Sunday to talk about the increase in gun sales.
“The irony of it all is that it’s my Democrat friends reaching out to me now asking me which guns they should buy just in case,” he tweeted. “In particular which ARs. I guess they’re OK with the 2A now?? You don’t need it, till you need it.”
One of the first communities in the U.S. to see a significant increase in sales were in Southern California, in areas with a large Asian population.
Dennis Lin, the owner of Gun Effects and Cloud Nine Fishing in Southern California, told a local news station that his business has been “really, really crazy” since the outbreak of COVID-19, and his store can barely keep up with demand.
“We forget, we’re all people,” he said. “We’re in America, we’re not in China.”